A popular acronym over the last several years is “WWJD” (What
Would Jesus Do?) We have seen it on bracelets, bumper stickers, T-shirts, and
a host of other things. The title of this article is just a “twist”
on that question. Instead of asking ourselves what would Jesus do, let us turn
this around and ask, “Would Jesus do what we do?” We might be surprised
at the answer! When thinking about whether or not Jesus would do what we do,
would Jesus ….
Not Attend Worship Services?
Would it be logical to assume that Jesus would not be present with the saints to worship God and study His word every time the doors are open? (Heb. 10:25) Jesus is the One who gave His body and shed His life’s blood to purchase the church (Jn. 19:33-34; Acts 20:28). After paying such a price as this, do we see Jesus considering this same church of little worth, or of only a “passing interest”?
Sadly, there are many people today who consider the assembling of the saints as “optional”, or as something they can do when they “have time.” Would Jesus do what we do after paying the price He paid?
If we say, “No, He would not do this”, then why do we often times do it? Could it be ….
Illness? Yes, some folks are ill, and sometimes folks are the caretakers for the ill. Yet, before we focus on illness too closely, let us be reminded that the vast majority of those not attending are not on the “sick list” for their chronic ailments! Too, I have observed that those who are chronically sick are the ones wishing their health allowed them to assemble. Ask them and see!
Work? Some allow work to come between them and worship. Could there be an emergency at work requiring your attention? Of course, there could! Yet, does such require your attention consistently on a weekly basis? Of course, not! For those allowing this excuse to keep them from worship, let them read Matthew 6:25-33 again. Let them be reminded that the physical things will be provided by God when we put first things first! Yes, we need to be gainfully employed (II Thess. 3:10), but this command does not contradict the Lord’s command for worship, either (Heb. 10:25)! We can do both, and must, if we are to please God.
Laziness? This is the key to a lot of our problems, is it not? We have the “energy” to do the things we want to do. Would Jesus do what we do and just decide to be “lazy” sometimes? By no means! When we read of the life of Christ, He did so much, John said he supposed the world couldn’t contain the books if someone tried to record everything He had done (Jn. 21:24-25). Remember, this was just over a 3 year period! Imagine what good we can accomplish with our entire lives! Are we doing it? Where are we when it is time to worship God?
Do Just Enough To Get By?
This attitude is prevalent in society, and sadly, it leaks over into the Lord’s church. Some portray an attitude that says they want to do the “minimum” to “squeak” by and get into Heaven. This attitude was seen in the one we call the “rich young ruler” (Matt. 19:16-22; Mk. 10:17-22; Lk. 18:18-23). He asked Jesus about the one “good thing” he could do so he could have eternal life. Jesus answered him, but he “went away sorrowful” because it required more of him than he was willing to sacrifice.
I personally know of people who treated their becoming a Christian like it was something they checked off of a list before they died. They had no intention of living for Christ, but just wanted to do the bare minimum! Is this us? Would Jesus do what we do?
In truth, we see the opposite with Christ. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus told those folks that He came to fulfill the law! In other words, He came to “fill it full”! He promised to complete it when His life on earth was over, and He did (Jn. 19:30)! In I Peter 2:21-22, we learn, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” To describe Jesus this way means He did not do the “minimum”, but kept all the law! We know this because to offend in one point was to be guilty of all (Jas. 2:10). Jesus did not do this, but committed no sin at all! He did not do the “minimum.” He did it all. What about us? Are we doing all Christ has commanded?
Knowing that some Christians today are hypocrites, would Jesus be a hypocrite, too? Let the Bible speak. In truth, Jesus “practiced what He preached” (Acts 1:1). In fact, He condemned the Pharisees and others for their hypocrisy (Matt. 23:13-36). Even then, we still hear Jesus tell His disciples to “observe and do” what those folks said since they had authority at that time (Matt. 23:3-4). He did not do things merely to be seen by men and praised (Matt. 6:1-18).
Since we know Christ would not act like this, why do men today act like this? Why do we think we can act one way on Sunday, and another way the rest of the week? Why do men think it is acceptable to act one way in public, and another way at home? This is hypocrisy! Shame on folks for acting like this. If we recognize Jesus wouldn’t be acting the way we are acting, then let us repent and do what He did (I Pet. 2:21).
Rely Upon His Opinions Rather Than God’s Will?
When we observe the world at large, we see many relying upon their opinions for what is right and wrong rather than God’s word. Sadly, even Christians are like this at times. Would Jesus do what we do? Would He rely upon His own opinions in matters?
In fact, He did not! He never relied upon His personal thoughts, but continually lived and taught that He was here to speak and do what the Father told Him to do. This was made clear in Luke 2:49 when He told His mother, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?” In Luke 2:51, we read of Him being “subject” to His parents. In other words, He was obeying the word of the Lord that said, “Honor thy father and thy mother...” (Ex. 20:12). Jesus’ life was one of subjection and submission to His Father’s will. We see this in the words He spoke, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (Jn. 12:49-50). Even in His last hours on earth, He would pray, “not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44).
Jesus followed His Father’s Word without fail. Knowing this is true, who are we to think we can do something that the Son of God didn’t do?? No, Jesus wouldn’t be doing what men are doing when it comes to following our opinions instead of God’s will!
Teach In A Way So As Not To “Offend” People?
Before we study this point in detail, please remember that the Bible’s use of the word “offend” and our use of the word “offend” is different. The Bible often uses the word “offend” as meaning a cause to sin. We use it to mean that we are put-off by something, insulted, or otherwise repulsed by something someone has said or done. The question is not, “Did Jesus speak in such a way so as to lure people into sin?” Surely, He did not (Jas. 1:13). Our question is, was Jesus’ teaching the kind of teaching that never caused folks to be mad or upset at what they heard?
There is a call and cry today by some who demand we “preach like Jesus preached,” and what they mean is to speak in such a way so as to never make a person mad or convict him of sin. Did Jesus do this? If folks think Jesus’ preaching never made folks mad, or convicted them of sin, then they have just not read the New Testament! When we read about the life of Christ, we find times when He caused folks to be “filled with madness” (Lk. 6:11). Some folks “criticized him vehemently” for His words. Even in His actions, we see Jesus cleansing the Temple on two occasions, as well as provoking controversy as He continually healed people on the Sabbath.
When confronting the Pharisees about their hypocrisy, they were upset; so much so that when His disciples told Him about their response, Jesus said simply, “Let them alone they are blind leaders of the blind…” (Matt. 15:12-14). Jesus would not allow hurt feelings to stand in the way of the truth being preached. We should not, either. Beware of those who will not teach the truth because they are afraid someone may be “offended.”
If Jesus would not do what we do, then why are we doing it? If Christ is our example, and we should be following Him. Why are we intent on doing things “our” way and not His?
By Jarrod Jacobs in The Old Paths, 1/9/11
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